Syd­ney River Bridge re­pairs to take more time

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS/WEATHER -

SYD­NEY RIVER — Re­pair work to the Syd­ney River Bridge is go­ing to take a lot longer than ini­tially an­tic­i­pated.

As a re­sult mo­torists will have to get used to one lane of traf­fic across the bridge un­til March 31.

Steve Smith, a spokesper­son for the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, said the ini­tial de­lay was due to an in­spec­tion of the bridge in prepa­ra­tion for a full re­place­ment of its deck.

Dur­ing that in­spec­tion bridge tech­ni­cians found steel stringers that need to be re­placed.

“ They have to have a spe­cial plat­form to get up and have a good look at what is un­der­neath. They fig­ure they are go­ing to be re­placed in a cou­ple of years any­way, so as long as they are up there with this spe­cial­ized gear they thought they would get that done now.”

Do­ing the work now, in­stead of while the bridge deck is be­ing re­placed, is cost-ef­fec­tive, he said.

“As long as they have their stuff in there to tune it up they may as well do some heav­ier work. That way they won’t have to redo it when the ten­der comes in.”

In spite of the dis­cov­ery, Smith in­sists the bridge is safe to cross.

“If the bridge wasn’t safe it wouldn’t be open. It is just slow to go through now be­cause one lane is closed.”

Res­i­dents of Cox­heath and West­mount are en­cour­aged to use the in­ter­change on Cox­heath Road to get to High­way 125 dur­ing the construction pe­riod.

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